The Coffee Nap

Tired? Try taking a "coffee nap".

Coffee nap. I know, these two words aren't normally synonymous with one another, but trust me, read on...

If you’re like most folks these days and have too much on your plate, are stressed out, tired and wired, and often experience sleepiness nights but need to be sharp, focused , and clear minded, the next day, this little trick can be a game changer.

Monitor and Maximize Your Recovery

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this years Crossfit Open. Another BIG congratulations to those who's will be moving on to the Crossfit Regionals. Out of over 250,000 people competing, you made the cut. Much respect.

For those who's competitive season is over, (excluding local throw downs through out the year) you should be thinking about restoration and recovery after a tough five weeks (especially those who did workouts more than once) before getting back "at it " for the 2017 season.

Recovery is often the most overlooked aspect in terms of training and improving performance. No amount of training will help if you aren’t properly recovering.

More performance, less injuries

How is your season going so far? Are you pleased with your performance and where you’re sitting on the leader board?

How did you feel going into the Open? Banged up and injured? Over trained? Did you work on your weaknesses? Or do you feel like you didn’t do enough during the year to prepare? 

If you can relate to any of those problems, you are not alone. These problems for the most part, can be traced back to poor programming and recovery.

One thing that will help increase your performance, and reduce overuse injuries is to consider the residual effects of your training when designing your workouts.

Residual Training Effect is the retention of changes in the body state, and physical qualities after the cessation of training beyond a certain time period.

2 supplements to help optimize your daily performance

Hey Folks,

I have been spending a fair bit of time researching supplements to optimize daily performance for a couple of clients and myself. 

One thing that is so important Wether your in 20's, 40's, or your 60's, it's important to look after yourself. Mind and body.

Your brain controls all the functioning organs in your body. From your metabolism to your nervous system, to your digestive system, every organ in your body is controlled by your brain. When your brain is healthier and functioning better your entire physical well-being is improved.

Here are 2 supplements to help improve memory, focus and processing speed

Alpha Brain - Alpha BRAIN® is a dietary supplement comprised of well researched earth-grown nutrients, amino acids, and vitamin B6. It has clinically demonstrated in two double blind and peer reviewed trials the ability to help significantly improve multiple areas of cognition (trials conducted by the Boston Center for Memory)

Krill Oil - There is some debate over whether krill oil is better than fish oil, but many think Krill oil is a superior source of EPA and DHA (omega 3 fats)  because the polyunsaturated fats are packaged as phospholipids, which can be used immediately by your body and are better absorbed, where as fish oil  are typically packaged as triglycerides and have to undergo additional processing in order to make them bioavailable (absorbed). Krill oil is also more stable because it includes astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant, that protects the fragile fats from oxidizing.

If you have been taking fish oil for  long time now, it's always good to switch things up.

So if your looking to improve memory, focus and processing speed, and lead a more productive life give these two supplements a try and let me know what you think.

Oh yeah. They offer a 100% money back guarantee if your not happy, and you still get to keep the product.

https://www.onnit.com/?a_aid=56b3d9be26706

 

Quieting the mind - Sleep and Recovery Part 3

How’s the sleep?

If you had a chance to apply the tips from part 1 & 2, you should feel a noticeable difference already.

This is the final part of three on improving recovery and sleep.

2 more tips you can add to your sleep routine.

Pro Tip #1 - Gratitude journal

Write down 5-10 things you are grateful for before going to bed. If you consistently journal every night before bed you will see amazing gains in the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Start each sentence with either “I am grateful for..." or “Thank you for...” This will calm the mind and help you look at the World in a positive light before falling asleep. It prevents the mind from racing all night, and enriches the quality of your sleep.

Pro Tip #2 - Meditate 10-15 min (to start) before bed.

Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.

There are many types of meditation, but most have four elements in common: a quiet location with as few distractions as possible; a specific, comfortable posture (sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions); a focus of attention (a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or the sensations of the breath); and an open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them).

Chose the method that works for you. The most important thing as that you do it on a consistent basis.

Bonus Pro Tip: Download sleep cycle app from ITunes

“An intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase – the natural way to wake up feeling rested and relaxed.”

Summary

1. Start a gratitude Journal

2. Meditate 10 – 15 min (to start) each night before bed.

Summary from Part 1 and 2

1. Turn off any screen 1-2 hours before bed

2. Go to sleep earlier

3. Keep your bedroom cool

4. Eat some quality carbohydrates for dinner.

Well that’s all for now on sleep performance.

I hope you have found these tips useful. And more importantly you will consistently apply them.

Just hit reply to let me know how these tips worked for you.

In strength and health,

Brad ”Popeye” Kohler Owner | Head Coach The Athletes Program

Cool, Dark, and Bananas - Sleep and Recovery Part 2

Hey Folks,

Last post I talked about the importance of sleep and how essential it

is for physical and cognitive performance.

Here are a couple more tips you can add to your sleep routine to get

even better results.

Pro tip 3 - Keep your bedroom cool

We already discussed the benefits about limiting light before (and

during) sleep in the previous post; now make your bedroom cool

before bedtime. 

Your brain loves the cold. The University of Pittsburgh School of

Medicine found that wearing a cooling cap helped insomniacs snooze

almost as well as people without sleep problems.

A drop in your core temperature triggers your body’s “let’s hit the hay” 

systems according to research from the Center for Chronobiology in

Switzerland (and others.)

The National Institutes of Health also suggests that sleeping in a cool

room could have some calorie-burning health benefits. 

Healthy men who spent a month sleeping in a cool (but not cold) 66-

degree room increased their stores of metabolically active brown fat.

Pro tip 4 - Eat some quality carbohydrates for dinner.

If you’re on a lower carb diet, eating a quality carbohydrates like

sweet potatoes, white rice, or even bananas at dinner can help you

sleep. Eating carbs at dinner will help the body produce serotonin

(the happiness hormone), which contributes to the feeling of

wellbeing, and also makes you sleepy.

Bonus Tip

Try turning off your cell phone, and get a regular alarm clock for your

bedroom because cell phones emit radiation that has been shown to

alter sleep cycles.

Conclusion

So there you have it, a few more tips to add to your sleep routine

that’s sure to help improve your quality of life and performance.

Improve recovery and your performance - Sleep and Recovery Part 1

Adding lean muscle while working to lose body fat is very difficult for multiple reasons.

A huge component is poor recovery.

How do you increase your recovery ability?

You are in luck today as there is one simple factor you can do that will dramatically speed your recovery. And no, It’s not some secret training program from Russia, or some magical potion from the Amazon rainforest…

…. its sleep.

Yes, good old fashion sleep, zzzzs, cashing out, down for the count, you get the idea. Here are 2 simple actions that I have used with my clients to sky rocket their recovery ability and thus their body composition results. Both of these will increase both the quality and quantity of your sleep so you can recover in record time.

Pro Tip #1: Turn off any screen 1-2 hours before bed

Light has the biggest impact on our sleep cycle. Both natural and unnatural light (man made). Blue light (computer, T.V screens, electronics) regulates the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone thus limiting the production of melatonin, so we stay alert and awake; the opposite of sleepy.

Do This: Install F.lux (totally free) on your computer to cut down on blue light emissions

Pro Tip #2: Go to sleep earlier

Evolutionarily, we are supposed to be active in the daytime, and resting at night. They (the Bro Scientists) say that each hour of sleep BEFORE midnight is worth 2 hours of sleep AFTER midnight. If you’re still awake around 11pm, the body dumps a bunch of cortisol (a muscle munching hormone) out due to the "stress" of being alert and awake during "rest" time.

This gives you a "second wind" and keeps going until the adrenaline and your over active brain are exhausted. This is not good for your recovery!

Do This: Do whatever you have to tonight to go to bed just 10 minutes earlier. Next week work to do just 10 minutes more.

Summary

These two are very powerful despite being simple. Apply them tonight so you can recover in record time.

 I challenge to commit to these 2 tips for 2 weeks. Really make an effort.

I am sure you will feel a dramatic improvement with your cognitive and physical performance.

Brad (aka Popeye)

The Athletes Program On-The-Road Workout Matrix

Exercise Workout Matrix

The Athletes Program On The Road Exercise Matrix was created to help clients stay on track with their fitness and maintain performance levels when on the road travelling for work or vacation.

I have created a list of great and very effective exercises grouped into body parts and movement patterns that don’t require equipment except for a few… pull ups or ring rows, skipping, a lacrosse ball for mobility, and a band for pull a-parts which can all be easily packed into your suitcase or travel bag.